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Social care user surveys

Each year we carry out user surveys to get feedback from service users. Survey information is gathered by councils with social services responsibility, and these pages contain guidance for them.

Why do we need a national survey?

As a sector, we need to understand more about how services are affecting people's lives, rather than simply what outputs services are providing. If users are to be at the heart of care planning and provision, then user experience information will be critical for understanding the impact and outcomes achieved - enabling choice and informing service development.

How are the surveys used?

  • To provide assured, consistent and benchmarkable local data on care outcomes. It is the most significant pool of personal outcome information for people receiving adult social care.
  • To support transparency and accountability, enabling people to make better choices about their care.
  • To help local services identify areas where outcomes can be improved in a very challenging financial climate, and support their own initiatives with an assured vehicle for obtaining outcome information.
  • To populate outcome measures in the Adult Social Care Outcomes Framework. Read the Adult Social Care Outcomes Framework - Handbook of definitions (external) on the Department of Health website.

Using the Adult Social Care Outcomes Toolkit (ASCOT) measure

ASCOT (Adult Social Care Outcomes Toolkit) is the source for questions 3a, 4a, 5a, 6a, 7a, 8a, 9a and 11 in the Adult Social Care Survey, ASCOT is designed to capture information about an individual's social care-related quality of life (SCRQoL). ASCOT is owned by the University of Kent and permission is granted for the sole purpose of this ASCS survey, any other use would be considered as a breach of copyright. Users wishing to make any other use of the ASCOT materials should contact the ASCOT team ( For further information, please visit

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